One of the things Jimmy Graham is known for is his signature touchdown celebration of dunking the football through the goal post. Well, not anymore. The NFL or No Fun League, as it has come to be known, has banned this celebration claiming it is a delay of game.The Lambeau leap, where players jump into the stands with the fans, is a delay of game but there have been no rules against that .
Is Roger Goodell picking on the Saints now that Graham is known and loved for this signature move? Some people seem to think so. But remember, Jimmy Graham isn’t the only slam-dunk celebrator. Atlanta Falcons Tony Gonzales and Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers adopted this touchdown celebration as well. But he and Calvin Johnson have taken it to the next level adding fancier moves to their football dunks.
The NFL also claims that this rule will make the game safer. Soon enough, players will not be allowed to tackle. Is the NFL taking the safety of the game too far with these rules?
Now, Graham did delay a game in the 2013 season by bending the goal post, but this only happens once in a blue moon. The NFL is pondering raising the uprights. This would make it riskier for players to dunk.
Graham voiced his opinion on this rule on Twitter saying, “ I guess I’ll have to lead the NFL in penalties this year! #funpolice” . Of course, Sean Payton probably wouldn’t agree with that if it adds yards.
But, this is why Jimmy Graham is a fan favorite. He constantly leaves it all on the field. Graham is one of the most passionate players in the league and these celebrations come naturally to him as a former college basketball player at the University of Miami.
By putting this rule in place, the NFL is taking all of the emotion out of the game. The NFL is claiming that the league is becoming more fan-friendly, but these rules take away from what fans love to see.
The recent talks of penalties for use of the N-word are more important, in my opinion, than the ban of a touchdown celebration. While some of these new rules are meaningful, some of them are getting ridiculous. I respect the league’s decisions about player safety, but it seems now they are taking it too far.
Fans seem to be opinionated about this rule, even Harry Connick Jr. had something to say about this rule in a recent interview. “I have a solution to that for Jimmy Graham: as opposed to dunking, I think he should just go and knock the goal post down, because there is no rule about that.”
Each player has their signature move, Victor Cruz and his cha-cha, Rob Gronkowski and his spike celebration and others with their various dances. This adds to the entertainment aspect of the game. It makes it fun to watch these guys get so excited after a long drive and getting in the end zone.
What is the future of the NFL if rules like these that take the fun out of the game keep popping up? How will Jimmy Graham celebrate after a touchdown now? Both of these are questions that we will have to wait and find out the answers to next season.